Texas law safeguards Christmas cheer in schools

SAN ANTONIO, Texas Mon Dec 9, 2013 4:19pm EST

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - Texas lawmakers sent notices to schools on Monday informing them that new legislation allows students and teachers to dress in festive garb and say "Merry Christmas" all they want without fear of punishment.

The so-called "Merry Christmas Law" is backed by social conservatives who feel that seasonal religious festivities have come under attack because of political correctness. It also covers the Jewish celebration of Hanukah, which ended earlier this month.

"We hope to see fewer school districts being naughty and more districts being nice," said conservative activist Jonathan Saenz, president of a group called Texas Values.

The measure, passed nearly unanimously by the Texas legislature this year, allows students and district staff to "offer traditional greetings regarding celebrations, including 'Merry Christmas,' 'Happy Hanukkah' and 'Happy Holidays'."

It also allows teachers and students to sing Christmas songs, erect Christmas trees, holiday decorations and nativity scenes, as long as they do not include a "message that encourages adherence to a particular religion's belief."

Supporters said some schools have dropped Christmas celebrations in favor of things such as non-religious winter festivities out of regard for the feeling of students who are not Christian.

Saenz said the law does not specifically cover the festivities of other major religions such as Islam or Buddhism, but students of other faiths who find their traditions being censored can seek support under the law.

"It is Christmas activities that are being attacked over and over again," Saenz said.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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Comments (4)
canaanable wrote:
So if a Muslim child chooses to wear a Death to America shirt and refer to his peers and teachers as infidels, can he seek support under the law? Didn’t think so. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT NOT EVERYONE AGREES WITH YOUR RELIGIOUS POINT OF VIEW. We are not, nor have ever been, a christian nation. There is in fact no such thing. We shouldn’t make laws that are only intended to enforce a specific groups gains while dismissing others. How very Fox America of us.

Dec 09, 2013 4:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
And where are the facts? How many students have been sanctioned in any way for saying “Merry Christmas” on school property? Is it more people than have shown up at the polls to vote while pretending to be someone else?

Dec 09, 2013 5:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gregbrew56 wrote:
“It also allows teachers and students to sing Christmas songs, erect Christmas trees, holiday decorations and nativity scenes, as long as they do not include a ‘message that encourages adherence to a particular religion’s belief.’”

When was the last time you saw a nativity scene containing a baby Buddha, Mohammed, Vishnu, Thor or Zeus?

Texas legislative morons have no clue! It will be challenged and struck down in court.

Dec 09, 2013 6:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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